7. Henry VI (King of England and Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine, 1421-71) Indenture agreement between Henry VI and Jean Salvain [Sir John Salvin], knight, royal councillor, a contract by Salvain, Captain of Château Gaillard, for the period of one year from 29 June 1444, following the advice and consideration of Richard, Duke of York, lieutenant general and governor of France and Normandy, for the defence of Château Gaillard Jean Salvain is obliged to maintain two mounted lancers, eight foot lancers and thirty archers, of which one eighth only of his men may be French, the remaining must be English, Irish, Welsh or Gascons, among his troops he should never recruit a captain or any person
who participated in the horrible murders committed in the area of St-Pierre-sur-Dives [near Lisieux] by Walter Houx and his accomplices, he may retain in his service a gunner ("cannonier"), an armourer, a bowmaker and a crossbowmaker, soldiers should be properly equipped and the captain (Salvain), his lieutenant and his troops should be garrisoned at Château Gaillard, and the captain to be responsible for any misdeeds of his troops, if he fails in any of his obligations the king or the lieutenant-general of France may transfer his duties to any other person, manuscript in French, on vellum, in a chancellery hand, in brown ink, 40 lines, indented at head, without seal, folds, slightly creased, lightly soiled, 273 x 657mm., Honfleur, 26th June 1444.
Château Gaillard. The castle was constructed in 1196 by Richard I to protect the Vexin from French incursions and was a long running source of contention between the two kingdoms. Although by the 1440's the castle was over two hundred years old its strategic value was still high and it changed hands repeatedly during the Hundred Years War. It was finally taken by the French for the last time in 1449.
1444, the year of Henry VI's negotiations to marry Margaret of Anjou. "By the end of January 1444, the English council had taken the weighty decision to pursue the possibility of a marriage alliance with a French princess, and probably by that stage Margaret's name was being considered. By 1 February it was resolved to send Suffolk to France… to negotiate with Charles VII's representatives a termination of the war and the conclusion of a marriage. It quickly became apparent that there was no likelihood of the French making any significant concessions to
the English, who appear to have requested acknowledgement of their possession, without homage, of Gascony and Normandy, setting aside for the moment the intractable question of the crown of France. Charles VII was not in such a precarious military position that he felt it necessary to discuss the dismemberment of his kingdom or the alienation of his rights. The arrangements for the marriage between Henry VI and Margaret were made two days later." - Ralph A. Griffiths. The Reign of King Henry VI: The exercise of royal authority, 1422-1461, 1981.
Richard Duke of York (1411-60), magnate and claimant to the English throne. "He was descended from Edward III through both parents, his father being the son of that king's fourth son, Edmund of Langley, first duke of York, and his mother the great-granddaughter of Edward's second son, Lionel of Antwerp, duke of Clarence. As lieutenant of France for the second time York became embroiled in the government's various diplomatic initiatives, including the moves associated with the truce of Tours. It has often been assumed that Duke Richard was hostile
to the peace negotiations of the 1440s, but there is absolutely no evidence for this. While the confusions of policy in the early years of the decade must have been exasperating for anyone charged with responsibility for the defence of Lancastrian France, there is nothing to suggest that York preferred war to diplomacy as a means of preserving English interests. As the plan to seek a truce with Charles VII and a marriage alliance with the house of Anjou emerged as the central plank of royal policy in 1444, York seems to have given it his full support. In the new spirit of Anglo-French amity, foe example, he sent forces to assist the dauphin's campaign in Alsace in the summer of 1444.
The last and best-known period in York's political life began in September 1450, when… Normandy fell to the French and the king's bankruptcy was exposed in parliament, the authority of Henry VI's ministers disintegrated. In the summer of 1453 Somerset's governing consensus suddenly collapsed, as the victories in Gascony were reversed, the king lost his mind, and war broke out in the north between the Nevilles and the Percy's. In the resulting crisis York was the only person of sufficient stature to restore the situation, and it must be this factor,
that explains the decision of a non-partisan group of councillors to summon him to London in October 1453, and the agreement in parliament to a[ppoint him protector and defender of the realm on 27 March 1454. Making genuine efforts to consult widely, he demonstrated the same statesmanlike qualities that had marked his management of France and Ireland: 'for a whole year', wrote one chronicler, 'he governed the whole realm of England most nobly and in the best way' ('Benet's chronicle', 212)." - Oxford DNB.
Jean Salvain, bailiff of Gisors, 1424; bailiff of Rouen, 1432.
Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillipps.
est. £1000 – £1500
The defence of the Vexin, Normandy and Lancastrian France under the lieutenancy of Richard Duke of York.